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Monday, 30 March 2015

Expelled by Jared Angira

Literary Analysis (Summary)

Expelled, written by Jared Angira, a Kenyan foremost poet, chronicles the negative intrusion of colonialists into the heart of Africa and its adverse effects on their economy and social being. The colonial state established in Kenya forcibly seized land, livestock and other means of livelihood from the indigenous people.

The white minority colonial government settled in the hinterland of East Africa, cultivating their land. They took control of the Kenyan economy and government and crippled the African traditional market system they met in place. In course of trading with the East Africans, the white foreigners discovered how fertile their land was. So, they started settling down and acquiring land and property until they dominated the economy and drained the natives of their resources. It was called settler colonialism.

The Negro speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

Literary Analysis (Summary)

Langston Hughes wrote this poem while travelling by train to visit his father in Mexico in 1920 when he was just 17. The poet, an African-American, gives a historical account of his deep connection with Africa, his ancestral root. The voice in the poem is that of a Negro in a predominantly white community. Years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Black community was still suffering from racial discrimination in the American society despite the fact that they helped in building the American dream.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Hardlines by Gbemisola Adeoti

Literary Analysis (Summary)

Hardlines by Gbemisola Adeoti x-rays the daring nature of the truth in a society where the political system and social institutions are in a shambles and the leaders in positions of authority are doing nothing to salvage the unpleasant situation. The country is enmeshed in mischief and all sorts of indignity. Adeoti reveals how hard it is to voice the naked truth about the dwindling fortune of his homeland, Nigeria, where deceit, lies, pretence and all manners of corrupt practices hold sway. Hence, the truth tends to be bitter and hard to admit, especially when it is blunt.

Serenade (Traditional)

Literary Analysis (Summary)

A serenade is a love song performed in the open, especially at night, by a lover under the window of his mistress, professing his undying love and affection. This traditional serenade is a Swahili love song from Kenya, East Africa.

The poet begins by calling on the sad lady to “be calm and cry not”. He appeals to her to forget her sorrow and sing to her suitors, those who guide her from being harmed and the “passers-by” who acknowledges and appreciates her outstanding natural beauty.

Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen

Literary Analysis (Summary)

This poem dwells on the futility of war. Written by Wilfred Owen, Strange Meeting is inspired by the First World War (1914-1918). Owen was a British soldier during the World War 1 and so he witnessed and participated in the most devastating war in the annals of human history. He was killed in action in 1918 just one week to the end of the war.

Being a veteran of the war, Wilfred Owen witnessed the massacre of people and the destruction of lives. Armed with this tormenting experience during the World War, he writes on the horror of war and why waging war is a dumb idea. The poet has first-hand knowledge of the World War 1, an apocalyptic war on humanity.

Boy on a Swing by Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali

Literary Analysis (Summary)

Set during the apartheid regime in South Africa, the poem x-rays the cruelty of the apartheid system and the struggle for freedom by the African natives. During the apartheid era, the freedom and rights of blacks were repressed. It was a time when colour bar held sway. There was racial segregation between the black and white communities. Many young and vibrant activists in South Africa were incarcerated because of their agitation for a class-free society.

Unseen Prose and Poetry

Unseen prose and poetry are literary extracts dedicated to any poet or author. It is used to test the knowledge of literary skills in students. In the prose aspect, a passage is provided and students are expected to answer questions below the passage. A poetry extract is also provided to assess students’ familiarity with poetic terms and other literary devices.

Difference between English literature and Literature-in-English

English literature is the literature written by the British showcasing the English lifestyle and culture. This type of literary work is written in English language which is the mother tongue or native dialect of these people. The works written by the English people cover the three genres of literature: Prose, Drama and Poetry.